Well I was excited to get to Spring Green. I have been wanting to come here for a long time.
I drove into town about 3pm on Thursday and went past the Architectural school,Taliesin, and the Welcome Center. Anyway, I got to the Wisconsin Riverside RV Park and got unhooked. The first stop was to go back and go to the Welcome Center. As I was walking around the greeter informed me that there was something going on at the Architectural school that was open to the public.
So I went back and had dinner at the Shed and then went to the trailer. Waited until about 7pm and then headed to Springhill to find the theater. I got there and it’s dark heading in. Lights on at the house but there isn’t any on the grounds. I wander up and look around and see people but don’t know where they are heading. I was getting ready to head back to the car and leave and see that there are more people leaving the house and walking down this path. So I follow and see where they are entering and end up in Frank Lloyd Wrights theater.
I realized pretty quickly that this is a guest speaker talking to the Architecture school students. His name was Brad Lynch. He showed examples of some of the project he’s worked on with Brininstool + Lynch. What was interesting was him talking about the proposal they had submitted to the Guggenheim Helsinki museum.
Also an interesting sub theme of his presentation was how lots of decisions on what to build is being decided by MBA’s. The comparison he made was that back during Frank Lloyd Wrights time the MBA’s came from only a handful of schools and those students had to have a general background in liberal arts. The vast increase in business schools and the lack of current students to have a diverse back ground means that some of the most interesting project wouldn’t necessarily be built today. This is because the current MBA’s don’t have the vision out side of the black and white numbers to take risks on projects that visionary architects might design.
This was confirmed by the tour I took the next day to see the buildings on Taliesin as the tour guide mentioned that FLW required his students to tend the gardens and also had to have a background in music. His thought was that an architect couldn’t design a work space properly unless they had actually done the work.
So the Estate tour I took on Friday was for 4 hours. We started at Hillside (The Architectural School).
As you can see there is a tree that has grown into the corner of the house. Additionally, they had to replace the cedar shake roof with an asphalt composite. The school and house aren’t in the greatest of shape.
The Architectural school currently has 22 Masters students. They did away with the undergraduate program a couple of years ago. The students live on the campus and they spend half the year in Wisconsin and the other half in Arizona. The current cost per student is $42,000 for a one year Masters program.
We then walked up the hill behind the school past Romeo and Juliet. A windmill he designed.
We then got to go in Tan-Y-Deri which is a house that Frank Lloyd Wright built for his sister.
Our guide told us that FLW had seven pianos.
Then we walked past the chicken coop.
It was about a mile walk before we got to see the main house.
After all of this, waking up on Saturday I still hadn’t gotten my fill of Taliesin. So I first went and looked at FLW’s first design project Unity Chapel. Outside of the chapel is FLW’s grave.
Then I decided to go to a Cocktail party at Taliesin. I bought my ticket and then went back to the trailer to change. Seeing as how it was a cocktail party needed to dress up. So I shaved put on slacks, long sleeve shirt and dress shoes. I’ve forgotten that I’ve spent the past 20 years in the West. Should have had a tie and jacket. But everyone seemed to have forgiven my oversight. I told my story of how I’d sold my house and was just traveling and how I’d spent the last three days spending as much time at Taliesin as I could. It was a hit with the guests and sponsors.
I got to hear some interesting stories one of which stated that Frank Lloyd Wright had an escape panel from his office if someone came to visit that he didn’t want to see.
The other interesting thing is that I got to see the space under the main floor that they are in the process of remodeling. It’ll look great once they have it finished.
Also they pointed out that he didn’t hang the door handles at the standard height. Just to betray conventions.
It was amazing to be sitting in his house and drinking Bourbon. Turned out to be the perfect time to visit Taliesin and got to see more in three days than I probably would have at any other time. In total spent 8 hours on the property.
There were some other things I did at Spring Green but I’m going to put them in another post. The House on the Rock deserves that.